Monday, January 30, 2012

Chinese New Year 2012

CNY, one of the best festivals in a year! You get to meet almost all your relatives and friends that you've missed so much and haven't been catching up throughout the whole year due to work/study/situated at different places. Of course, my family do make the annual pilgrimage to Sibu, grandparents' house for the celebration. It's odd though, to see all the younger cousins growing up. They were just babies the years before, and now, they are in secondary school! (Ok, that just sounds dumb, of course people grow up) But to watch them grow up, it's just amazing! Sad thing tho, is with those that are slightly younger than me, we used to play masak-masak when we were toddlers and conversations just sparked even when we haven't been talking to each other for the past 12 months. Somehow, things change. Maybe we are older, shy-er, we just stop talking. Hope to reconnect back soon! And with those cousins that are older than me, no problem at all! (By older, i mean at least 8 years and above older than me) Somehow, I'm better at mingling with adults than kids. The fact has always been like that,  I'm handicapped. :/ Or maybe I grew up with siblings much much older than me, I just can't juggle the conversations with younger ones as smoothly. One fact changed last year: I do not DISLIKE kids/anyone younger anymore. They are cute. :)

I enjoy celebrating CNY in this little town in the middle of Borneo - Sibu! :D This town is like a "ghost town" on normal days, so little souls, uncomfortably quiet, contrary to all the noise pollution in Subang or Miri. But when it comes to CNY, people just flood into this town, cramming it and all the traffic congestion...Urgh..haha. However, I must insist that everything is perfect for CNY there! You will never get fireworks as great as this any where else on the surface of this planet, I can assure you that. Not Miri, not Kuching, not any where else. Not even London on New Year's Countdown comes anywhere close to what we have here in Sibu on CNY Eve. (I remember Kim, (Baobei's son - Pagi's mom) who's from Houston told us she has never seen anything like this, it was like World War III out there!) Being dubbed the "dangerous" one of the house, ya think I'll just stand aside and snap photos? ;)

Note: This author discourages the act of fooling with illegal fireworks or firecrackers and holds no responsibility for any losses, claims, damages, awards, penalties, or injuries incurred, including reasonable attorney's fees, which arise from any claim by any third party.

Another part that I would definitely miss is - not the Ang Pows - the food! Aside from savoring the Reunion dinner,which we had in some fancy restaurant every year with family karaoke sessions, I'll definitely scream for this: Oh, the CNY cookies! Those small, delicate, bite-size cookies are just awesome, very fattening, but who cares?! You cannot find them lying on the shelves on normal days, but only through orders during festive seasons like this. I have no idea what are those cookies called, except for Kuih Momo and Kuih Sepit, but I'll definitely post their photos up on FB. (Yes, less photos on this blog as I realise they lag the loading of this site down and FB loader makes uploading photos much a pleasant experience than Blogger.)

Next is, Angela the Baby! The cutest niece on Earth! I have tonnes of photos of her but I doubt my brother allows me to post it on any where on internet because she's...a princess, cannot let people see one! Haha... But I can tell you her cheeks are SO PINCH-ABLE! Fat fat baby fat cheeks! She's too adorable that she's become the centre of attention on every single event of our family. I wonder if other kids get jealous. :P She's growing up fast and resembles her father's face a tad too much but my aunt told me she looks exactly like me when i was her age. Perhaps, that true, that explains the fat cheeks I still posses today. One very notable thing tho, she's extremely smart. Only less than 3 months old, she's learning how to point/show "1" with her finger and now progressing fast towards "2" and learning to say her own name. Hopefully she's not a extremely-late-bloomer like yours truly here. Can't wait to see her all grown up!

Oh, I drove back from on the journey from Sibu to Miri! It was a very fresh yet kinda scary experience and I hit my highest speed ever, 140 km/h! It was during night time and was raining heavily but we arrived safely of course, if not I won't be blogging here. Sarawak's roads are UNLIKE west Malaysia's highway, FYI. There's only one lane, no street lamps and potholes every where. No toilet stops, no shops. No phone reception in most places. (So much for timber tycoons eh?! I wonder where all our timber, oil and gas profits go, Mr. Minister?) If your car broke down somewhere in the journey, you are stuck in the jungle and that's what exactly happened to us on the way back to Sibu before CNY. We were stuck in the oil palm estate for 3 hours while we wait for a tow car to come (Thank God for the reception on my dad's phone!) It was blazing hot under the noon sun, my sister and I had decided to bring "Optimism" to a new level - Me, to sit under an oil palm tree with mud on the floor and read Atul Gawande's recently published "Better" and my sister, to play Plant VS Zombie. No other place provides such great peace than this for full concentration! And are we ever so grateful it was not night time or raining?! Praise God for His protection and guidance!

I'll skip the New Year Bazaar in Miri and the Lion Dance part. They are equally interesting but I just don't enjoy them as much and I think they are over-rated. :p

On Chu 4 (4th day of CNY), our whole gang of ex-Chung Hua-ians class of 2009 went for visiting! It was a great relieve to be able to meet up with so many good friends of mine at time like this and catch up before we all separate again. It has been 3 years consecutive that we went for visiting since we left high school. We have visited a total of 12 houses in a day and boy, it was definitely EXHAUSTING but even more rewarding was the opportunity to exchange experiences, stories with my dear friends. Some parents can't even recognise us anymore since we are all grown up.

That's about it for my last CNY here before leaving for the UK and missing CNY for at least the next 7 years. I wonder when will I meet all my friends again since most of us would be leaving for good this coming months, to Australia, to KL, to UK, to US and all over the world. I wonder how CNY would be without the reunion dinner, the pilgrimage, the fireworks, the cookies, the soft drinks, the ang pows, the lion dance, the new, red outfits, the visiting and every one else. I wonder how CNY would be without my family beside. I wonder how CNY would be without all these little yet ever-so-great moments that makes everything so special here.

And again, it is when one is able to lose something, one starts to appreciate things to greater details.